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ERIE — Erie put a scare into McDowell during their District 10 Class 6A championship game at Penn State-Behrend Monday, but the Trojans escaped the threat to come away with an 11-5 win over the Royals and their 12th straight D10 title.
The Trojans built an 8-0 through the first 2 1/2 innings, but the Royals plated five—all with two outs—in the third to cut the deficit to 8-5. McDowell answered with three in the fourth for the final tally.
“It was a little stressful,” McDowell pitcher Alivia Soule said. “But having my team come back for me and score a few more runs, and continue to make all the outs, made me feel more comfortable.”
Comfortable indeed. Following the 5-run outburst, Soule settled in and only allowed two more hits—both singles—the rest of the way. She also got seven of her 12 strikeouts in the final four innings.
“I was really happy to see them, as a team top-to-bottom, come through and execute when they needed to and be there for their pitcher and their pitcher to be there for them,” McDowell coach Maureen Wolfe said.
CONGRATULATIONS to the District-10 Class 6A Softball Champion – McDOWELL LADY TROJANS!! 12 trophies in a row!! pic.twitter.com/R0SL9p9iyg
— McDowell Athletics (@mcdathletics) May 24, 2021
McDowell took advantage of some Erie mistakes early. With Hilary Sissem on first, Taytum Iavarone put a ball down the third base line. Savanna Wolfram’s throw was too low for Olivia Chow to pick at first and Sissem came all the way around to score, while Iavarone ended up at third. Iavarone came in on a passed ball to put the Trojans up 2-0 after the first half inning.
“I think we all came up with confidence after that,” Sissem said. “Seeing everyone hit, you knew your team was behind you and you just want to do the same for them.”
A single and a walk had runners on first and second for Erie in the home half of the inning, but Soule was able to set down the next three batters to escape the jam.
Iavarone’s 2-out single in the second scored Katie Enzbrenner for the lone run of the inning.
Lexxie Biel was hit by a pitch to start the top of the third, then moved to second on Hannah Powierza’s sac bunt. Maggie Hoover reached on an error and Biel came in on the play to push the lead to 4-0. Soule followed with a single to right that put runners at first and second for Ally Leonard. Leonard put a ball down the line in right that hopped over Mady Hendricks’ glove and brought in Hoover and Soule and allowed Leonard to advance to third. Enzbrenner followed with an RBI single and it looked like the Trojans had the game well in hand after Sissem’s RBI double with an 8-0 lead.
Kassie Plyler led off the bottom of the inning with a bloop single just past second base. Paige Sharpe drew a 1-out walk, but Soule came back to get Wolfram looking for the second out of the inning. Hendricks’ fly ball to right landed just past Hoover’s glove and rolled deep enough to allow Plyler and Sharpe to score and Hendricks to get to third. Angelina Conners followed with a double to the gap in right-center and Hendricks crossed the plate for the Royals’ third run of the inning.
Justice Marko-Sloan walked, and Emma Chow launched a shot to the centerfield wall to plate both Conners and Marko-Sloan that trimmed the lead to 8-5. Colleen Crawford popped out to short to end the inning.
Biel led off the fourth with a single and Powierza again sac bunted her to second. Hoover walked to bring Soule to the plate with one out and two on. Soule had to adjust mid-swing but poked an offspeed pitch into the left field corner for a 2-run triple. Leonard added an RBI single for the final run of the game.
Soule finished 3-3 at the plate with two RBI. In the circle, she allowed five earned runs on eight hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts.
Sissem had four hits, while Leonard and Enzbrenner had two each. Leonard drove in a pair and Enzbrenner scored twice.
For Erie, Plyler was 3-4 with a run scored and Conners and Emma Chow each had a pair of hits. Emma Chow and Hendricks drove in two each.
Sharpe gave up 11 runs, five earned, on 14 hits and two walks and struck out four.
McDowell will return to the diamond at Behrend Wednesday as the Trojans take on Allderdice in a PIAA sub-regional. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. The winner of the sub-regional will take on the District 6 champion on Tuesday, June 1 at 4 p.m. at Mt. Aloysius.
McDowell 215 300 0 – 11 14 2
Erie 005 000 0 – 5 8 5
2B-Ally Leonard (M), Hilary Sissem (M), Angelina Conners (E), Mady Hendricks (E), Emma Chow (E). 3B-Alivia Soule (M). WP-Soule. LP-Paige Sharpe.
Hilary Sissem 5-1-4-1, Taytum Iavarone 4-1-1-1, Lexxie Biel 2-2-1-0, Hannah Powierza 3-0-0-0, Maggie Hoover 3-2-1-0, Alivia Soule 3-0-3-2, Ally Leonard 4-1-2-2, Katie Enzbrenner 4-2-2-1, Alyssa Draghi 4-0-0-0, Gracie Maya 0-2-0-0, Total 32-11-14-7
Kassie Plyler 4-1-3-0, Anna Grychowski 3-0-0-0, Paige Sharpe 3-1-0-0, Savanna Wolfram 4-0-0-0, Mady Hendricks 4-1-1-2, Angelina Conners 4-1-2-1, Justice Marko-Sloan 3-1-0-0, Emma Chow 3-0-2-2, Colleen Crawford 2-0-0-0, Samantha Smith 1-0-0-0, Total 31-5-8-5